It’s amazing what you can learn on a seven minute drive. Every morning I feel like I gain a wealth of knowledge from my 8 year old passenger. Most of this knowledge is about the best books in the orange dot level at the library or which girl’s feelings were hurt because another girl didn’t want to sit with her at lunch. I get the gossip about who may or may not have had lice and who is telling people she is related to Beyonce (she isn’t).
I rarely get information I can share at a dinner party. I am always looking for this type of data since I suck at small talk. My conversation starters are usually “So, who is your favorite serial killer?” or “I used to have to wear leg braces to sleep at night when I was a kid. Weird huh?” So, this morning when my daughter asked me if I wanted to hear all about Walt Disney, I was like hell to the yes I do!
Unfortunately after reading all about Walt’s life, her knowledge consisted of three things which she listed for me. He was born in 1901 and died in 1966 of lung cancer. He married a woman he worked with named Lilly. They had a daughter named Diane but they didn’t like her so they found another baby. When I asked her to elaborate on the part about the children she said she forgot what the story was but they had a baby and they didn’t like her so they got another baby. I asked what they did with poor little unlikable Diane and she said she had no idea. She did wonder how parents couldn’t like their own baby though. I had so many questions and she had so few answers.
Unfortunately we arrived at her school before I could dig a little deeper into this story, so I had to go home and google the whole Disney child situation. The story as presented led me to believe Walt and Lilly had a child and gave her up for adoption and then later went on to have another child. This was not at all the case. They had a biological child named Diane in 1933 and then adopted a child named Sharon in 1936. They loved both girls and doted on them. Apparently Diane made them love parenting so much they expanded their family and gave her a sister. I was happy to know that Walt and his wife were not the type of people to dump their kid and trade her in for a new one. That would be like learning Mr. Rogers was also the Zodiak Killer.
I guess I am going to have to share with my kid what I discovered. It’s these little bits of useless information that nestle into your brain and I wouldn’t want her sharing that Walt and his wife traded in their first child for a better one at a dinner party with her boss twenty years from now. Either that or I just tell her all about the little girl we were thinking about adopting next time she acts like a little asshole. I haven’t decided yet.
*I wrote this while listening to some good old fashioned Christmas music!
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My daughter’s first concert was at an outdoor venue a few months after her 3rd birthday. My husband and I took her to see Vampire Weekend since they were one of her favorite bands. She still likes them and walks around the house howling along to White Sky fairly often.
Tour dates were just announced for the 2020 Vampire Weekend tour so I thought she may like to see them again. When I asked her if she wanted to go she had several questions including if it was at an indoor or outdoor venue, what time they would take the stage and if the seats were up close. After much deliberation her final answer was a firm “maybe.”
The conversation closed with thoughts from my daughter that perfectly sum up how she thinks. She said concerts are fun but would be a lot cooler if there was a way to lie down and relax while listening and watching the band. This is not surprising considering her favorite way to eat dinner is lounging on the couch with a tray on her chest. I can see her now – “Excuse me, guys, can you move the mosh pit over there, I’m just trying to relax here.” or “Can you people stop singing along so loudly, I’m trying to hear the band.”
She is a little old lady in a child’s body. Concerts are fun but having to put pants on to go out is just too much effort sometimes. She loves live music, but she would never survive a packed punk show with sweaty shirtless guys in close proximity without throwing up. The last concert we were at had seating in the back so she was content but I doubt she would have stood for three hours without complaint. Luckily there was no line in the bathroom or she would have started a riot. She also gets hungry for dinner before 4 so it makes sense.
I don’t think I have ever wanted to lie down and take a quick nap while at a concert, but I am usually too busy shaking my butt. I’m also usually just excited to be out after dark. I guess I should just be happy that my daughter has always wanted to go out to concerts and that she likes the same music that I do (for the most part. I could live without Taylor Swift.) My poor Mom had to sit through more new wave than Gary Numan. I could be suffering through mind-numbing pop concerts or worse yet, hip-hop. I am lucky that my kid has good taste in music. Now I just need to toughen her up a little in preparation for three days of punk music all day and all night in Las Vegas this May. I have been begging my family to come with me to Punk Rock Bowling for years now and I think this year may finally be the year. I’ll have to check to see if we can get some couches to lounge on in between sets. From what I have heard, pants are totally optional.
*In honor of the upcoming 2020 Punk Rock Bowling, I wrote this while listening to the Circle Jerks
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It snowed a few days ago, and buckets of that white stuffed poured on us for a full day. While my daughter was home for a snow day, she decided that it was the perfect time to decorate for Christmas. In theory, it wasn’t a horrible time, but I had literally just taken down our Halloween decorations the day before and we still have pumpkins and cobwebs on the porch. My house is like a holiday mullet with pumpkins in the front and santa in the back. Plus, all day I had been laughing at memes on social media saying things like “Snow in November happens because people decorate for Christmas prematurely. You know who you are. Stop it.” Now all I can think is clearly these people are spying on me. Somehow I don’t think I’ll get any credit for hot days in April when I decorate early for the Fourth of July. Then again, my Christmas decorations may very well still be up well into spring.
Normally when I decorate, I put the same pieces in the same places, but apparently I am getting senile as well as acquiring more decor because I stood there looking at half empty bins strewn across my house, unable to remember where anything went. Meanwhile, mini me ran through the house randomly placing ornament stands and two foot tall sparkly trees on the piano bench and next to the toilets. Apparently she likes to feel festive when she pees. I found her and a half decorated tree by following the trail of glitter. At one point I even joined in, trying to set up a snowman in our guest bathroom, but my husband promptly put a stop to that by reminding me that my mother has literally close to 50 snowmen in her guest bathroom. It is so packed in there that it’s hard to even find the toilet, let alone the sink. I don’t know if it was my fear of becoming a hoarder or the idea that someone could potentially pee all over Frosty, but I cleared out the bathroom pretty quickly.
I eventually figured out what normally goes where and then moved things around for another two hours before I finally gave up and started dragging empty bins downstairs. When my little elf pranced in suggesting we get started on the tree I laughed right out loud. Magically, I have two shelves with no decorations and I somehow acquired a bag containing 150 ornaments that had a $4 price tag on it. Apparently I couldn’t pass up an after Christmas sale even though our tree is already at maximum ornament capacity. Luckily we just bought a new coffee table with a glass top and a shelf below that holds exactly 150 sparkly globes. I would normally try to convince my husband I had bought the bag of bulbs for this exact spot and I am clearly a genius, but he had just redirected me from placing a fluffy white snowman six inches from the urine zone, so I kept my mouth closed.
So once again, it looks like someone ran through my house with a fire hose shooting glitter, and I am in heaven. Everything is sparkly and shiny and I even found spaces for hundreds of ornaments. It’s finally time to light the balsam scented candles, although I feel like fall lasted about three and a half minutes. Maybe I’ll keep the multi-holiday theme going and light some leaves scented candles in the front rooms and balsam in the back. Tis the season!
*I wrote this while listening to The Interrupters
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There are few things I enjoy talking about more than traffic. I would be a great traffic reporter with my added commentary on how badly people are driving all over the city. I think a lot of people would be interested to hear about the asshole driving too slow in the left lane of the freeway or the guy who ran the red light in front of Starbucks and almost took out a gaggle of teenage girls in the crosswalk. When I talk to my husband on the phone while I am driving he often has to tell me to shut my pie hole about all of the horrific drivers surrounding me.
I am by nature a people watcher and I am fascinated by how much people struggle with simple things like spacial relations. In my mind, this kind of stuff is interesting to other people as well. I know I am mistaken, but I keep sharing my observations. Unfortunately, when I am not providing commentary on the highway happenings to my husband, I am sending him photos of cars parked askew as if they let their dogs attempt to drive. He gets pictures of the old men parked at the gym halfway between a handicap parking place and the sidewalk and the soccer moms at Target with their minivans overlapping two spots. The best photo I even sent him was a car on the front lawn of a home near my parents’ house. It looked as if the car was dropped from the sky or rolled into the yard. I had all kinds of crazy stories going in my mind to account for how this little blue car came to rest in the middle of a front yard.
My daughter is also a driving critic. She was backseat driving before she could talk. She has called out things like “green means go buddy” and “that lady can’t stay in her own lane” more than I would like to admit. She notices the same kinds of things I do and has almost as much commentary on it. One day a few months ago we witnessed one of the funniest driving incidents ever. We were at the library where they held a farmer’s market every friday sitting on a bench sharing some grapes as a car pulled into the lot and attempted to park about 20 yards from us. We watched as the female driver pulled into a handicap spot but instead of parking she drove directly over the sign standing at the front of the spot. Strangely, the sign sprung back up after she flattened it down into the pavement. The base of the sign was literally a spring so when the car passed over it, it flattened out and popped back into place. This was accompanied by a screeching sound as the metal sign scraped the bottom of the car. The woman proceeded through the parking lot and into another space as if nothing had happened. The only evidence that she was aware of what she had done was the flush of her cheeks as she walked past us into the farmer’s market. She looked around her as she got out of her car and saw about 50 people staring at her. I think I would have had to say something like “did you see that sign jump right out in front of me?” or something similar, but this lady just went about her business which leads me to believe it was not an unusual occurrence for her.
The best part about seeing this incident with my daughter was that she could go home and tell her dad all about it. She bounced in and giggled her way through the whole story. Not once did he tell her that he didn’t want to hear the traffic report like he does to me. He laughed along with her. I think we have a new traffic reporter in the house.
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It’s been awhile since I have written about our lake experiences. This isn’t because we haven’t had any, I have just been giving my dad a little break from the abuse I dish out when it comes to boat stories. But alas, there are too many stories to share about the captain and his high seas adventures, so my hiatus is over. If you are reading this, Old Man, just turn off the computer now and go back to watching ESPN or Sherlock Holmes, or anything else. Just avert your eyes from the screen if you can’t figure out how to turn off the computer. For future reference, you can just close the lid and this will all go away.
The first time I saw the boat this past summer it was being towed in by the neighbors. The same neighbors who come to the rescue every time we experience water related ineptness were pulling my dad’s boat as he sat on the bow. When they got close to shore the boat was cut loose and smoke billowed out behind it as my dad cranked on the engine to pull into the boat slip. The best part of this was that the lift sits too high in the water so he has to pull the boat in kind of fast or it doesn’t make it far enough onto the lift. It’s always an awkward maneuver the first few times each year and the smoking engine did not help matters. It literally looked like he was trying to jump the boat right over the dock as he pulled in. It was like a giant smoking cannon ball headed toward shore.
After the boat was successfully docked we realized that the company that had stored it all winter had either left it outside uncovered or had been allowing homeless people to sleep in it because the interior was filthy. Apparently “Skipper Bud” was smoking a lot of bud while caring for my dad’s boat. We had been informed that we couldn’t pick it up the week prior because they hadn’t done a final check on it yet. I guess they never got around to the final check or an initial check for that matter. Or maybe they were just too stoned to notice the smoke pouring out of the engine. It’s possible that they left the boat parked right in their driveway where we left it last fall, cashed my Dad’s check and immediately closed for the winter. Needless to say, we were all pretty annoyed as well as perplexed.
It took a few weeks to get someone to repair the boat properly and get us back on the water. But we finally did get back on the water, and every time out I looked forward to pulling back in to shore. This is because during every ride my jokes about my dad’s parking skills got better. I would like to say his parking skills got better as well, but they still remain questionable. Some of my better comments included:
“Maybe the 8 year old should give it a try. She can’t be much worse.”
“At least you didn’t hit the neighbors dock!”
“Maybe we should just leave it out here and swim back.”
“Your eyes are closed, aren’t they?”
It should be obvious to me by now why he tortures me with the work he asks for help with. I guess I would do the same if some little asshole kept terrorizing me. The difference is I would let that person know I was torturing them. He keeps trying to pass off all the work we do at the lake as bonding time. He says things like “if we didn’t have all this work to do, when would we spend this kind of time together?” I remind him that I’ll visit him plenty in the nursing home.
We took the boat back out of the water a few weeks ago along with the wave runners, the dock and the lifts. It was a two weekend process as usual and after doing the math, my husband and I discovered that we actually spent more time getting the boat in and out of the water than we did on the water this summer. This is not including the many joyous minutes of parking time spent drafting new material to poke at the Old Man. I would complain more but, but what can I say, I enjoy the bonding time.
I wrote this while listening to one of my all time favs!
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